Most parts of the USA have accepted the medical use of marijuana whereas the consumption of recreational cannabis is still disallowed by a majority of the states. There have only been eight states so far that have actually legalized the recreational use. Vermont has long been trying to become the ninth in line but a recent bill vetoed by Phil Scot turned the advocates down. It was almost obvious that the bill would be signed, but as it stands, that clearly didn’t happen.
Vermont Governor Phil is not against cannabis. In fact, he was one of the people who voted in favor of medical marijuana. His reasoning for vetoing the bill was the safety of the state. There are still certain areas left unaddressed regarding the safety of people using the drug and those around them. This is when we move to the brighter side of the story. Despite the downturn of events, there is still a good chance that Vermont’s vetoed bill will be turned into a law.
It was only a few days after the bill was vetoed that the advocates in favor of legalization were back to work. There were a few changes that were identified by Phil after he denied the approval. The legalization advocates had a meeting with Phil’s staff in order to discuss the changes that the governor wanted. The bill, if it had gotten approved, would have allowed adult users to possess a certain amount of marijuana. Not only that, but adults would also have been allowed to cultivate their own cannabis within the state.
Among the main concerns that the governor had regarding the bill was to increase the DUI penalties for those caught driving under cannabis influence. Consumption of cannabis in front of minors was also among the major concerns. One of the legalization advocates—Dave Silberman—told a reporter that these changes are not drastic. However, if they went as planned, the measures could be addressed in time. In that case, the reconstructed bill will be proposed on the 21st of June in the Veto Session, and if it’s lucky enough, Vermont could have the non-medical use of this drug legalized this year.
In the case of legalization, users—those of age 21 and older—will be allowed to possess about an ounce of cannabis, and grow a maximum of two mature cannabis plants. There is still a lot of hope among advocates and they are certain that addressing the matters on time will get the recreational use legalized this very year. Also, Phil’s willingness to address to issues mentioned is a sign that once reconstructed, he will not veto the legalization bill.
This, however, does not mean that there are no other hindrances on the way. Rebecca Kelley—Phil’s spokesman—has said that if there are obstacles, there are also ways to get around them. According to her,
“We believe there’s a path forward either way,”
The legalization bill in Vermont might have been vetoed, but there still is a great chance of it being turned into a law.